Make Time for the Stars

Fitting Astronomy into Your Busy Life


Series: The Patrick Moore Practical Astronomy Series

Many amateur astronomers are short of time. A full-time career usually takes up most waking hours, and there very often simply isn’t time for leisurely observing sessions, at least a few hours’ sleep being something of an imperative during the week. Fortunately, modern technological advances such as computer-controlled telescopes equipped with GPS, north-seeking and level detection, have made setting up a telescope much quicker. Today’s imaging systems enable time-pressed astronomers to take excellent astrophotographs of many objects without the hours-long exposures that used to be a feature of this aspect of astronomy. This book explains what to attempt in a short timescale (and what not to), and how to use today’s top-value commercially-made equipment to get the most astronomy out of the least time.

Make Time for the Stars showcases a wide array of quickly performed astronomical projects, including various novel or new approaches to observing. There are also useful tips for maximizing and enhancing the user’s time at the telescope, extracting optimal performance, efficient set-up, and easily carried out optical maintenance. Significantly, the book features detailed information on alternative imaging techniques, which can provide exceptional levels of realism for far simpler and less time-consuming effort.

There is also guidance on equipment, such as, what to look for and also what to avoid, so that the reader may acquire only what is appropriate, and not more, for the kind of results he/she may have in mind. A wide range of available budgets is taken into account.

The book concludes with a guide for the efficient organization of deep-space observing (an area which is often frustrating and unproductive when time is limited), easy daytime observing projects, and an extensive Internet resource section.

In The Press

Aus den Rezensionen:“Der Autor ... stellt ... seine Überlegungen vor, wie man knappe Zeit am Okular optimieren kann. ... Er gibt zahlreiche Tipps zum Optimieren seiner Ausrüstung, damit man später keine Zeit vergeudet oder ein nutzloses instrument enttäuscht in die Ecke stellt. Daher soll man ... komplexe Technik meiden, die schwer in kurzer Zeit zu beherrschen ist. Nach der Auswahl der richtigen Ausrüstung stellt Cooke eine Reihe von einfachen Beobachtungen in unserem Sonnensystem, beginnend beim Mond, vor. ... sehr zu empfehlen aufgrund vieler wertvoller Überlegungen und Erfahrungen ...“ (in: Weltraum Facts, 2008, Vol. 15, Issue 4, S. 24)